March 29, 2010

NEC Announces Appointment of Jason Moran to its Jazz Faculty

News Revealed during Final Concert of Jazz40 Celebration at B.B. King Jazz Club in New York City

MoranCalling New England Conservatory the school with the “open door” for jazz, pianist Jason Moran took the stage at New York’s B.B. King Jazz Club Saturday night as the newest member of the NEC jazz faculty.  Indeed, he had only signed his letter of agreement a half hour before performing on the final concert of Hot and Cool: 40 Years of Jazz at NEC celebration, which included performances by singers Dominique Eade and Sarah Jarosz; guitarist Joe Morris; pianists John Medeski, Matthew Shipp, and Bernie Worrell; drummers Anton Fig and Billy Martin; turntablist DJ Logic; Lake Street Dive; and master of ceremonies Josh Jackson from WBGO's The Checkout. The show closed a week of performances and panels at various clubs and other venues in New York.  In October, there was a similar week of events in Boston as the Conservatory celebrated the anniversary of its jazz studies program—the first fully accredited program at a classical conservatory. Named "Up-‘n-Coming Jazz Musician" of 2003 by the Jazz Journalists Association and "the most provocative thinker in current jazz" by Rolling Stone magazine, Moran will begin his tenure in September, with duties that include some studio teaching, ensemble coaching, and masterclasses. The pianist, who was in residence at NEC for a week in early February, praised the conservatory based on his experiences conducting masterclasses at other schools.  He said NEC’s distinctiveness was based on its welcoming attitude to the many forms and styles of jazz.

Born and raised in Texas, Moran studied piano as a child but didn't become fired with musical enthusiasm until hearing a Thelonious Monk recording at the age of 13.  He attended Houston's High School for the Performing and Visual Arts before moving to New York where he became one of Jaki Byard's last students. He first came to prominence as a member of saxophonist Greg Osby's touring and recording band in 1997. In 1999, Osby's label, Blue Note, signed Moran to a recording contract in his own right. He has since released seven CDs as a solo pianist or bandleader, to great acclaim. His current band, the Bandwagon, is a trio with bassist Tarus Mateen and drummer Nasheet Waits.

In addition to critical and audience recognition of his music, Moran has received commissions from the San Francisco Jazz Festival and Chamber Music America, to which he responded by using sampled conversations as vocal triggers. Moran's willingness to mix media is currently being fulfilled by collaborations with such noted visual and performing artists as Glenn Ligon, Kara Walker, and Joan Jonas.

For further information, check the NEC Website.

ABOUT NEW ENGLAND CONSERVATORY

Recognized nationally and internationally as a leader among music schools, New England Conservatory offers rigorous training in an intimate, nurturing community to 720 undergraduate, graduate, and doctoral music students from around the world.  Its faculty of 225 boasts internationally esteemed artist-teachers and scholars.  Its alumni go on to fill orchestra chairs, concert hall stages, jazz clubs, recording studios, and arts management positions worldwide.  Nearly half of the Boston Symphony Orchestra is composed of NEC trained musicians and faculty.

The oldest independent school of music in the United States, NEC was founded in 1867 by Eben Tourjee. Its curriculum is remarkable for its wide range of styles and traditions.  On the college level, it features training in classical, jazz, Contemporary Improvisation, world and early music. Through its Preparatory School, School of Continuing Education, and Community Collaboration Programs, it provides training and performance opportunities for children, pre-college students, adults, and seniors.  Through its outreach projects, it allows young musicians to engage with non-traditional audiences in schools, hospitals, and nursing homes—thereby bringing pleasure to new listeners and enlarging the universe for classical music and jazz.

NEC presents more than 600 free concerts each year, many of them in Jordan Hall, its world- renowned, 106-year old, beautifully restored concert hall.  These programs range from solo recitals to chamber music to orchestral programs to jazz and opera scenes.  Every year, NEC’s opera studies department also presents two fully staged opera productions at the Cutler Majestic Theatre in Boston.

NEC is co-founder and educational partner of From the Top, a weekly radio program that celebrates outstanding young classical musicians from the entire country. With its broadcast home in Jordan Hall, the show is now carried by National Public Radio and is heard on 250 stations throughout the United States.

Contact: Ellen Pfeifer
Public Relations Manager
New England Conservatory
617-585-1143
ellen.pfeifer@necmusic.edu


IF YOU HAVE TO ASK WHAT JAZZ IS, YOU'LL NEVER KNOW. LOUIS ARMSTRONG